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SCENE I. Antechamber in Leontes'
palace. XeEnter Camillo and Archidamus.

shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia,
on the like occasion whereon my services
are now on foot, you shall see, as I have
said, great difference betwixt our Bohemia
and your Sicilia.
I think, this coming summer, the King of
Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visita-
tion which he justly owes him.
Wherein our entertainment shall shame
us we will be justified in our loves; for
indeed ...

Beseech you,

V. P.


Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge: we cannot with such magnificence, in so rare ... I know not what to say. We will give you sleepy drinks, that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they

cannot praise us, as little accuse us. CAMILLO.

You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely. ARCHIDAMUS.

Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and

as mine honesty puts it to utterance. CAMILLO.

Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were trained together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities and royal necessities made separation of their society, their encounters, though not personal, have been royally attorneyed with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies; that they haveseemed to be together, though absent; shook hands, as over a vast; and embraced, as it were, from the

ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves! ARCHIDAMUS.

I think there is not in the world either malice or matter to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young prince Mamillius: it is a gentleman of the greatest promise

that ever came into my note. CAMILLO.

I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: it is a gallant child; one that indeed physics the subject, makes old hearts fresh: they that went on crutches ere he was born desire yet

their life to see him a man. ARCHIDAMUS.

Would they else be content to die! CAMILLO.

Yes; if there were no other excusewhy they should desire

to live. ARCHIDAMUS.

If the king had no son, they would desire to live on crutches till he had one.


SCENE II. A room of state in the same. Enter


Leontes, Hermione, Mamillius, Polixenes, Camillo, At-

Nine changes of the wat'ry star hath been
The shepherd's note since we have left our throne
Without a burthen: time as long again
Would be fill'd up, my brother, with our thanks:
And yet we should, for perpetuity,
Go hence in debt: and therefore, like a cipher,
Yet standing in rich place, I multiply
With one We thank you,' many thousands moe

That go before it.

Stay your thanks a while;
And pay them when you part. .

Sir, that's to-morrow.
I am question'd by my fears, of what may chance
Or breed upon our absence; that may blow
No sneaping winds at home, to make us say
This is put forth too truly:' besides, I have stay'd
To tire your royalty.

We are tougher, brother,
Than you can put us to't.

No longer stay.

One seven-night longer. POLIXENES.

Very sooth, to-morrow. LEONTES.

We'll part the time between 's, then: and in that

I'll no gainsaying. POLIXENES.

Press me not, beseech you, so. There is no tongue that moves, none, none i' the world, So soon as yours could win me: so it should now, Were there necessity in your request, although 'Twere needful I denied it. My affairs Do even drag me homeward: which to hinder Were in your love a whip to me; my stay To you a charge and trouble: to save both,

Farewell, our brother.


Tongue-tied our queen speak you. HERMIONE.

I had thought, sir, to have held my peace until
You had drawn oaths from him not to stay. You, sir,
Charge him too coldly. Tell him, you are sure
A11 in Bohemia 's well, this satisfaction
The by-gone day proclaim'd: say this to him,

He's beat from his best ward.

Well said, Hermione.

To tell, he longs to see his son, were strong:
But let him say so then, and let him go;
But let him swear so, and he shall not stay,
We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.
Yet of your royal presence I'll adventure
The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
You take my lord, I'll give him my commission
To let him there a month behind the gest
Prefix'd for 's parting:-yet, good deed, Leontes,
I love thee not a jar o' the clock behind

What lady she her lord. -You 'll stay?

No, madam. HERMIONE.

Nay, but you will! POLIXENES.

I may not, verily.

You put me off with limber vows; but I,
Though you would seek to unsphere the stars with oaths,
Should yet say 'Sir, no going.' Verily,
You shall not go: a lady's 'Verily''s
As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet!
Force me to keep you as a prisoner,
Not like a guest; so you shall pay your fees
When you depart, and save your thanks. How say you!
My prisoner? or my guest? by your dread. Verily,

One of them you shall be.

Your guest, then, madam: To be your prisoner should import offending;

Which is for me less easy to commit

Than you to punish. HERMIONE.

Not your gaoler, then, But your kind hostess. Come, I 'll question you Of my lord's tricks and yours when you were boys: You were pretty lordings then? POLIXENES.

We were, fair queen, Two lads that thought there was no more behind, But such a day to-morrow as to-day,

And to be boy eternal. HERMIONE.

Was not my lord
The verier wag o' the two!

We were as twinn'd lambs that did frisk i' the sun,
And bleat the one at the other: what we chang'd
Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, no, nor dream'd
That any did. Had we pursued that life,
And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear'd
With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heaven
Boldly not guilty;' the imposition clear'd

Hereditary ours.

By this we gather
You have tripp'd since.

O my most sacred lady,
Temptations have since then been born to 's: for
In those unfledg'd days was my wife a girl;
Your precious self had then not cross'd the eyes
Of my young play-fellow.

Grace to boot!
Of this make no conclusion, lest you say

and I are devils: yet go on;
The offences we have made you do we'll answer,
If you first sinn'd with us, and that with us
You did continue fault, and that you slipp'd not

With any but with us.

Is he won yet?

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